When the Chicago Cubs sent two top prospects, two good prospects, and Sam Fuld to the Tampa Bay Rays for Matt Garza this Winter, I don’t imagine they expected, come July, they’d have to be seriously considering whether they wanted to send him right back out for prospects.
But such is the life of a 100-loss ballclub.
Nevertheless, Cubs’ GM Jim Hendry remains steadfast in his defense of the trade, and belief that Garza – who is under team control through 2013 – is a primary block upon which the team can build. Manager Mike Quade agrees.
“It certainly wasn’t a one-year thing,” Hendry said. “He’s pitched as well as anybody in the National League over the last month. When you look at starting pitching that might be available in the offseason in the free-agent market (and) get ready for your winter work, you’ll be glad you got him.”
Still, manager Mike Quade felt compelled to meet with Garza on Friday night after he got rocked by the Cardinals. Garza hasn’t won a game since June 27, but that says more about his lack of support from the offense and the bullpen.
“His mindset’s about as good as it can be,” Quade said. “My appeal to him was (don’t let it bother you). Keep getting better. (We) would love to see a W, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s put together a ton of quality starts (and) given us a chance to win on numerous occasions.”
Garza – who’s under team control through the end of the 2013 season – is still only 27 and learning how to pitch. Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano could be free agents after next season. Ignore the win-loss record, Garza is profiling like an Opening Day starter.
“There’s upside,” Quade said. “You just can’t look at his stuff and not think he could be a No. 1 guy.” CSNChicago.
I’ll admit, when I look at the return the Rockies just got for Ubaldo Jiminez, I wonder whether the Cubs should consider moving Garza. Sure, he’s just 27, he’s productive, he has upside, and he’s under team control for two more years. But those are the very reasons he could bring a haul in trade. Don’t the Cubs have more than one hole?
That all said, I can’t raise a stink that the Cubs aren’t really considering dealing Garza. He’s young enough that, even if 2012 is a wash, he can be a contributor in 2013.